Tamesa Richmond’s Journey to Becoming a Paralegal

Tamesa, a Black woman with grey hair, wears brown glasses. Her hair is in a bun, and she is smiling.By the Communications Committee with an introduction by Peggy Pardue

Tamesa Richmond has been a North Carolina Certified Paralegal for six years but has been in the legal field for 23 years. She works remotely as a corporate paralegal for Medterra CBD, LLC, which is based out of Irvine, California.

Tamesa graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.S. in administration of criminal justice in 1992, and in 2016, she received her paralegal certification from Guilford College. Tamesa became a North Carolina Certified Paralegal in early 2017.

Tamesa started her career as an analyst in the bankruptcy unit at Bank of America. Before leaving this position, she was one of the first trainers for their bankruptcy unit. As a matter of fact, she wrote their training manual for their bankruptcy policies and procedures. Tamesa left the position to pursue a role with a bankruptcy and trustee attorney in Winston-Salem.

We took the time to connect with Tamesa and to ask her some questions about her journey to the paralegal field. Read our conversation with Tamesa below.

What are your major duties as a Paralegal?

All types of contract management; process improvements; trademark searches and management; draft, review, and negotiation of Non-Disclosure Agreements and vendor contracts using template agreements.

What did you never think you would be doing that you are doing now?

I never thought I would do and enjoy yard work like I do. I used to be that person who went to a cookout and ate inside. Now, I look forward to getting out in the yard with my lawn mower and weed eater. Going to Lowe’s is like walking through the toy store at Christmas time.

Favorite podcast, favorite Netflix (or other streaming service) series?

I like anything Star Trek-related.

What are you reading right now?

A contract, contracts, and more contracts.

What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment?

This is probably cliché, but being a mom to my son. He is currently serving in the U.S. Air Force, and I am a very proud Air Force mom.

What has surprised you most about working in the legal field?

The most surprising thing is that it is not always black and white. The majority of the law and the legal field exists in the gray space and is open to interpretation.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming a paralegal?

Don’t be focused on job titles. All organizations do not have a structure that will allow you to “move up the ladder” with senior or junior-level paralegals, etc. While your responsibilities will change and you will always continue to learn, you may spend your whole career as a paralegal without a change in title. A title does not always reflect the level of expertise you bring to the table.

What do you do when you aren’t working?

Kickboxing at the gym, working in my yard, and playing with my dog.

Tamesa, a Black woman with grey hair, is pictured wearing boxing gloves and punching a boxing bag. She wears an orange shirt and black pants.

What is your favorite, perhaps little-known, technology tip?

SharePoint is your friend.

What has been your biggest obstacle in life, and how have you mastered it?

My biggest obstacle has been getting out of my own way and celebrating my accomplishments. I am learning to say thank you when someone acknowledges my accomplishments instead of explaining how I could have done things better.

What’s one thing that you’d like to see the NCBA Paralegal Division do or accomplish for its membership?

I think the division does a great job of providing educational and networking support. I would love to see a focus on mental health. At the annual meeting and CLE in May, there was a discussion about toxic work environments. It was very eye-opening to see how many of us were suffering or had suffered from the effects of toxic workplaces. Sharing those experiences and knowing that we were not alone was very healing.

What do you wish other people knew about you?

I am rather shy when I am in situations where I don’t know a lot of people. I appear to be very outgoing, but I would rather sit in the corner and fade into the background.

What role model or influencer shaped who you are now, and what lessons have you learned from them?

My mom has always been my role model and the strongest person I have ever known. She was in school working on her degree in interior design when my dad died. I was six and my brother was 14 at the time. She went to work full-time to support the family and eventually owned several rental properties and owned her own floral business. She never remarried and was very independent. Watching her, I learned how to take control of your circumstances and to win at life no matter what it throws at you.

The division appreciates Tamesa for participating in the Paralegal Spotlight. Thank you for taking the time to read her story!


The Paralegal Division Blog is managed by the Division’s Communications Committee. Via the blog, the Communications Committee provides information written by attorneys, paralegals, and other experts designed specifically for paralegals in the areas of substantive law, ethics, technology, paralegal practice advice, and more. If you are interested in signing up to submit a blog post on a future date, you can do so here. When you are ready to submit a blog post, you can do so by using this form.

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